News / Asia

A Step Towards Justice for One Kashmiri Family

A Step Towards Justice for One Kashmiri Familyi
X
September 20, 2013 7:44 PM
In what is being called an unprecedented decision, a court in Indian-controlled Kashmir recently held police responsible for the killing of a 12-year old boy in a 2010 attack. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to the boy's family who says the ruling gives hope for achieving justice and basic human rights in the disputed region.
Aru Pande
Three years ago, Wamiq Farooq went out to play cricket and never came home.
Al that is left for his parents and older brother, Danish, are school photos, certificates and trophies symbolizing the unfulfilled dreams of a future the 12-year old Kashmiri never had.
“He was really brilliant, seriously. I can’t explain how brilliant he was, how good of a student he was, seriously. I was really proud of him,” Danish Farooq says as his eyes well up with tears.
A Life Cut Short
Farooq says his younger brother was playing with his friends near a stadium in Indian-Kashmir’s main town of Srinagar on January 30, 2010, when police officers drove by and threw a teargas shell. It struck the back of Wamiq’s head and killed him.  Witnesses say the attack was unprovoked, and that the boy was not taking part in stone throwing or any other unrest. 
In August, a local judge issued arrest warrants for the two officers for culpable homicide, saying police acted recklessly. In the ruling, the judge said tear gas shells are “not a weapon of offense but only intended to disarm miscreants.” Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajeev Gupta also warned police personnel to use only as much force as necessary to disperse an unruly mob.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chair of the separatist umbrella organization Hurriyat Conference, says the ruling in Wamiq Farooq’s death sets an important precedent that such cases must be investigated and brought to justice.
 “A commission of inquiry has to be sought into for all those killings, all those fake encounters, all the police brutality that has happened over these years,” he told VOA just minutes after learning of the court ruling.  “And I must add to it that even the Hurriyat Conference is not averse to looking into issues where armed people or militants may have committed violations of human rights.

Human Rights

International human rights organizations have long accused Indian security forces of using excessive force, including firing live ammunition, during pro-independence protests in the disputed Himalayan region.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in full by both.
More than 60,000 people have been killed in an armed insurgency that began in the late 1980’s, with separatists fighting for self-determination.
Wamiq Farooq’s death in early 2010 was the beginning of a year of deadly clashes between security forces and stone-throwing protesters. At least 100 people were killed, mostly demonstrators who were shot by police.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police Abdul Ghani Mir says the unrest of 2010 was a turning point for his force.
“The J&K (Jammu and Kashmir) has learned its lessons. In the last three years, 2011, 2012 and 2013, there have been protests, there has been stone pelting, the incidents’ triggers have been there, these things have been there, but we have not seen that any killings have taken place during the protests because we have evolved our responses,” Mir said.
Radha Kumar was one of three government-appointed mediators sent to Kashmir following the violence of 2010.  The political scientist acknowledges security reforms and fewer human rights violations in recent years, but says the government has not done enough to address people’s grievances, including addressing alleged human rights abuses committed by security forces.
“Kashmiris showed a huge will in trying to put the events of 2010 behind them and move forward on tourism, economy and other issues.  But when you say ‘behind them,’ it doesn’t mean that you are giving up on justice, ” Kumar said.
As for Firdousa Farooq, she never gave up on justice for her son Wamiq.
 “This is not just a win for me, but for the entire Kashmir.  This is a win for all those who have experienced injustice and for those yet to come. Who knows how long this will go on,” she said.
Her legal battle over, this mother returns to her now quiet Srinagar home, still longing to hear the footsteps of a little boy whose life was cut short.

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 Million by January

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid